Seth Thomas Pillar & Scroll Clock. Plymouth, Connecticut. NN39

This Pillar & Scroll shelf clock was made by Seth Thomas in Plymouth, Connecticut. It is an exceptional example and features a pasted label that reads, “CLOCKS / MADE AND SOLD BY / SETH THOMAS, PLYMOUTH, CONN. / WARRANTED IF WELL USED.”

This clock is constructed in mahogany and retains an older re-finish. The wood, consisting of the feet, scroll work, horns and returns are all original to this clock and are in excellent condition. This is also true of the movement, weights and clockmaker’s pasted label. The reverse painted tablet is original to the clock. The scene is very unusual. Typically Connecticut wooden geared shelf clocks are fitted with tablets that feature pastoral scenes. The subject matter on this glass depicts a couple. Both people are fancifully dressed. The woman is being held in the man’s arms. The colors are excellent. The border and the rectangular shape opening to view the pendulum is a format that is seldom seen. The wooden dial is decorated with gilt work. The spandrel areas features raise designs. These details are elevated with gesso work. The Clockmaker’s label is pasted inside the case. This is in very good condition. The wooden works movement is weight driven and is designed to run thirty-hours on a full wind. This clock strikes the hour on a cast iron bell.

This clock was made circa 1825 and stands approximately 30.5 inches tall.

About Seth Thomas of Plymouth and later Thomaston, Connecticut.

Thomas was born in Wolcott, Connecticut, in 1785. He was apprenticed as a carpenter and joiner, and worked building houses and barns. He started in the clock business in 1807, working for clockmaker Eli Terry. Thomas formed a clock-making partnership in Plymouth, Connecticut with Eli Terry and Silas Hoadley as Terry, Thomas & Hoadley.

In 1810, he bought Terry’s clock business, making tall clocks with wooden movements, though chose to sell his partnership in 1812, moving in 1813 to Plymouth Hollow, Connecticut, where he set up a factory to make metal-movement clocks. In 1817, he added shelf and mantel clocks. By the mid-1840s, he changed over to brass from wooden movements. He made the clock that is used in Fireman’s Hall. He died in 1859, whereupon the company was taken over by his son, Aaron, who added many styles and improvements after his father’s death. The company went out of business in the 1980s.

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